Diamond Valley Railway is possibly the best miniature railway in Melbourne due to its location, the number of trains running and the excellent Eltham Lower Park playspace nearby.
Volunteers operate the railway very Sunday of the month and families can ride steam and diesel trains for only $3 per person. The track is particularly long, with a few tunnel sections and plenty of opportunities to wave to other train drivers and riders.
Trainspotters can enjoy the best views from the overhead bridge.
The setup is large so while the queues can be long (if you’re not one of the first in line at 11am) they move quickly as up to three trains run at the same time. Note that the booking office only takes cash.
The Eltham Lower Park playspace is next to the railway and makes a great resting point before, during and after the train ride. Eltham Lower Park also has a second play space which is more of the ‘plastic fantastic’ variety.
There are also numerous picnic and BBQ shelters within both playgrounds and around the park (though they get taken early with birthday parties as they can’t be booked). The Eltham Rotary and various Community groups run a sausage sizzle and the coffee van and ice-cream van make a killing. Just across Main Road you can find the Eltham Tea House which open from 8:30am to 5pm on Sunday.
Excellent public toilets with change facilities are just outside the play space.
Diamond Valley Railway is a fun and cheap day out for little train fans, with enough to amuse amuse toddlers and preschoolers for a half-day adventure.
For other miniature railways in Melbourne try Box Hill Miniature Steam Railway, Altona Miniature Railway and Bulla Hill Railway.
- arrive before the first train at 11am and buy your tickets in advance so you can you can be on the first trains;
- no open toed shoes, sandals or thongs allowed on the train;
- tickets are $3 cash only, children under 2 years ride free;
- free parking on site;
- Buses 902 Chelsea or 513 Glenroy bus depart from Eltham Railway Station every 30 minutes;
- Dogs are not permitted on the trains;
- Prams are not permitted on platforms;
- Special trains for exclusive use may be hired on Sundays only;
- Fenced accessible playground next to railway;
- Sausage sizzle, coffee van, ice cream van nearby;
- public toilets with change facilities;
- Free BBQ shelters and picnic shelters;
- Visit Second Home and Montsalvat while in Eltham.